Microsoft using Sony PS3 Home for virtual meetings

Sony's PS3 Home service has come in for its fair share of criticism since it launched last month, not least because of early connectivity issues, but it looks like more than one big name has a positive view of its worth.  Microsoft are a surprise inclusion in a study by researchers at Portsmouth University, examining the potential of virtual worlds to facilitate business meetings and reduce unnecessary travel.  They'll seemingly be trying out Home to reduce their carbon footprint.

"Increasingly we are living in a world without borders where workers need to collaborate on a global scale.  Audio and video-conferencing solutions have emerged but the use of virtual worlds may offer the next evolution in overcoming the tyranny of distance – a more realistic and learning-enhanced environment" Andrew Mawson, managing director, Advanced Workplace Associates

Other participants in the study include Ernst & Young and Merrill Lynch.  It's unclear exactly how the project will be arranged, but it will likely use personal spaces or clubhouses to bring together virtual executives.  These are the only two places where voice chat is currently supported, following the 1.05 update.

The study was commissioned by Advanced Workplace Associates, and is being led by Dr Nipan Maniar and Manish Malik from Portsmouth University.   

[via Kotaku]